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Internal communication audits: a case study

Dennis Quinn (School of Communication, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, UK)
Owen Hargie (School of Communication, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, UK)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



On 4 April 2002 the Police Service for Northern Ireland (PSNI) officially took over from the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). This historic symbolic change of name arose from the Belfast Agreement, the subsequent Patten Commission and a long period of consultation and persuasion. Like so many UK police organisations the RUC had exhibited evidence that it recognised the need to address the issue of internal communications but had not been involved in any in‐depth assessment of its internal communications, nor did it have a written internal communications strategy. The use of communication audits had also been limited. By applying a validated audit methodology, this paper examines the position internal communications had within the RUC. Using a triangulation approach, the research encompassed structured interviews, the international communication audit questionnaire, and a critical incident approach. The results showed a general dissatisfaction in respect of communication and specific dissatisfaction in relation to particular areas of the organisation. The implications of the findings for the fledgling PSNI and other police organisations are discussed in the context of the role of communication strategies.



Quinn, D. and Hargie, O. (2004), "Internal communication audits: a case study", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 146-158.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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